Dr. Melissa A. Parisi is the chief of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She joined the NICHD in October 2008, and currently oversees the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers program at NICHD. She is interested in advancing basic, clinical, and translational research that will improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.
Dr. Parisi earned her M.D. degree and her Ph.D. degree in Developmental Biology from Stanford University where her research focused on mitochondrial transcription. She completed a pediatric residency at the University of Washington, followed by fellowship training in medical genetics. Prior to moving to NIH, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, where she was active as a clinical geneticist and as a researcher in the field of congenital malformations of the human hindbrain, specifically Joubert syndrome and related disorders. In her clinical practice in the states of Washington and Alaska, Dr. Parisi was involved in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of children and adults with genetic syndromes, chromosomal disorders, and developmental disabilities. Dr. Parisi also served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joubert Syndrome and Related Disorders Foundation.